College and career readiness has become a national education policy priority. With more than 9.3 million rural students in the United States, the college and career readiness of rural students is a warranted priority for rural education researchers. Using a combination of Conley’s (2012) college and career readiness model, Perna’s (2006) nested model of college choice, and Social Cognitive Career Theory (Lent et al., 2014), we systematically reviewed and analyzed the extant literature on rural students’ college and career readiness. In addition to providing a comprehensive discussion of the prominent themes in the literature, we provide recommendations for future research on rural students’ college and career readiness as well as changes to college and career readiness standards and practices that would better align with the strengths and needs of rural students, schools, and communities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Included in

Education Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.